First Nations Law
The Circle Approach
Also known as a talking circle, it is an inclusive method for dispute resolution, information-sharing, and relationship-building.
It is a unique structured process used to bring people together to help understand one another, to build and strengthen relationships, solve problems and assist people to understand important issues in first nation communities. The Circle provides a way for people to have meaningful conversations that work through issues or conflicts in a safe, productive way.
In the Circle, everyone is respected, everyone gets a chance to speak without being interrupted and everyone is equal.
The Circle is capable of dealing with anger, frustration, joy, truth, conflict and strong feelings.
The Circle is managed by a trained Facilitator.
How does it look? Everyone sits in a circle facing each other. The Facilitator introduces the purpose of the Circle and how the Circle works. An object referred to as a talking piece is passed from person to person around the Circle. Each person has a chance to speak. Everyone else listens without interruption until the person with the talking piece finishes and then the talking piece is passed to the next person. The Circle continues until consensus is reached on the purpose of the Circle.